Jun 13 2010

New Karate Kid Movie Review

Karate Kid – A major disappointment

By Bill Glasheen

Having seen this movie on the first night, here are my impressions.

* It isn’t karate. It’s kung fu. Correction… it’s mostly Wu Shu. Gone is the authenticity of the original movie, where virtually all techniques (except for the stupid crane thingie) were real and the pedestrian teaching methods ingenious. Now we have flash replacing real self defense. It’s Hollywood without a soul.

* Jackie Chan sold out being part of this movie. He’s a genuine physical genius. And yet we have just one fight where he takes on a gang of 13-year-olds. Okaaay…


* There’s nothing original about the plot. It’s a re-make of Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off becomes take the jacket off, hang it up, throw it down, pick it up. And as far as physical motion goes, it doesn’t transfer. I’ve used “wax on, wax off” to teach Uechi principles, as I have paint the fence and the house. But the clothing thing? It’s empty movement. There’s no effort involved in hanging a jacket up. Okinawan karate was about taking SERIOUS physical movement (farming and fishing), and transferring those body mechanics to martial movement. There’s no caffeine involved in lifting a coat.

* I know I’m going to offend people when I say this, but… What’s up with the fat chick in the Master Cho’s Taequondo Academy uniform hawking Korean martial arts in the lobby? To start with… this physical wreck of a human being needed a tailor. The obvious commercialism made me want to take a bath when I walked by her. And when they approached my 11-year-old son… Big mistake. Don’t send a girl out to do a woman’s job. And don’t send The Michelin Girl out to sell a commercial venture that’s supposed to be about fitness. (They’re certainly NOT about self-defense.) And the fashion statement? Don’t get me started.

* Gone is the charm of Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. The movie is all about Jaden Smith’s acting debut. Ten years from now, people will be forgetting that it was a martial arts movie, and remembering that it was Jaden’s debut. Will Smith used martial arts, and gave nothing in return.

* What’s with the chi reference? Jackie Chan writes the character on the window of a train. And then of course they can’t really deliver on what “it” is. They could have skipped that entirely. But I did chuckle with Dre Parker’s (Jaden Smith) predictable “Star Wars” and the force allusion.

* The fight scenes in the tournament (yes, the plot is almost scene by scene a copy) were fun in a gymnastic sense, but I wasn’t inspired.

* Dre Parker (Jaden) is a kid and not a teenager. He doesn’t really pull the part off very well.

On the plus side…

* The movie makes my Snowball thread appear ingenious. Those involved in embellishing the plot get what I see in terms of the many benefits of music.

* The “swarming of the wolves” scene where the kung fu academy students hunt down Dre Parker was authentic, creative, and pulse-throbbing. This leads up to the predictable scene where Jackie Chan takes on the gang and then offers to teach young Dre Parker. Well done!

* Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) as the bully kid in the “bad” martial arts school steals the show (IMHO). His acting is almost as good as his martial skills. I wouldn’t be looking for “best supporting actor” awards, but his acting and his martial prowess save an otherwise bad movie. Look for him in future martial arts movies.

* The context of a family having to move from a depressed Detroit auto economy to a vibrant China auto industry was both poignant and… interesting. Wink

I’m not saying don’t see it. But I will say that the entire experience was a big disappointment. I remember how pleasantly surprised I was after seeing Karate Kid with my UVa martial arts buddies. This was as disappointing as that was surprising. And the movie is eminently forgettable.

It’s so bad that I guarantee someone will re-make the re-make. The opportunity is out there for the next generation. And this trio of movies will make for interesting material in some future college film class.

On a final note… The movie will probably do well anyhow. But not all commercial successes are works of art.

- Bill

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/new-karate-kid-movie-review/

Jun 01 2010

SummerFest Highlights!!!

SummerFest 1984

SummerFest Presenters’ Update

From John Thurston

Hello GEM Sensei:

The Focus of the presentation will simply be on matters often

unarticulated (except perhaps by yourself) in most Uechi classes.

You will recall the number of “points” to remember that I sent you.

For sure my good friend Eric O’Brien will b coming with me as

well as at least one of my students.

We will attempt to discuss TC as it differs from Uechi and as it is similar.  Since even

the Yang system is older than Uechi it might be argued that it was available for

the initiators of Pangainoon as a source.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/summerfest-highlights/

May 19 2010

Uechi-ryu “Titles”

Gold Bars on your belt. What do they represent?

In 1967 the All Okinawa Karate Federation was formed and one of its primary functions was to bestow “titles” to deserving martial artist. These titles were Renshi (one gold bar), Kyoshi (two gold bars) and Hanshi (three gold bars). There was also a “Hanshi-sei” award, for martial artist still continuing their study of Karate after the age of 70. (No additional gold bars are awarded)

The titles were created, not for the purpose of identifying physical rank (1-9th dan), but for the purpose of recognizing individuals who not only met standard rank requirements, but who distinguish themselves as exemplatory individuals who have advanced the martial arts generally and their style specifically.

The All Okinawa Karate Federation didn’t last very long and soon individual styles began adopting their own methods for awarding stripes. . . generally students would simply sew them on at what they determined was appropriate ranks. In other words, the spirit of the gold bars and titles were lost.

When IUKF was created, one of my goals was to re-institute the “titles” program to represent something more than the ability to sew a stripe on one’s belt. I am very pleased to report that the program is progressing very well and I believe will become once again, an important part of the Uechi-ryu ranking process.

Dr. Joan Neidi heads up this program and has created the following documents which can also be found on the IUKF website:

 
Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-qtitlesq/

May 14 2010

SHINGAKI The Great Outdoor Battle

SHINGAKI The Great Outdoor Battle “This ain’t no Summer Camp!”

 

By Manny Neves, 8th Dan, Kiyoshi Uechi-ryu Karate-Do

 

There are a lot of great martial art summer camps to attend throughout the United States. In fact two of my favorites happen to be right here in New England. One, is a periodically held summer camp, in Connecticut, put on by the Strong Fist Kenyukai Group. It features the great Kiyohide Shinjo from Okinawa, Japan. He’s known throughout the world as being one of the best practitioners of the fine art of Uechi-ryu Karate. When you see him break a baseball bat with a single forearm strike, you say to yourself: “That’s one tough guy!” Another of my favorite camps is the annual George Mattson summer camp held every year at the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne, Ma. That’s a beautiful spot for training in the open air next to the ocean. Susan and Sensei Mattson spare nothing to insure the integrity of the camp. They always have highly skilled instructors. People attend every year to see one another and train rigorously together.

 

What my wife Sheila, who has her own dojo and is a 5th Dan in Uechi-ryu Karate-Do and I are putting together this Summer is an event which will follow-up on the various summer camps being held this year. But make no mistake about it…This ain’t no Summer Camp! We call it: Shingaki-The Great Outdoor Battle. I got the idea by watching some of those old Ronin Japanese Samurai movies of feudal Japan. Those guys took on all comers. They didn’t care what style you were, how tough you are or where you studied. They just wanted to test their skill and see how good you really are basically without any rules. Although, unlike the movies martial art tournaments today are not “fights to the death”. Although some of the mixed martial art stuff we watch on the tube today resembles “fights to the finish”. Although I’d love doing that stuff, I wonder how some of those guys end up. At martial arts tournaments with rules, you can be sure of heading home safely. So, we promise a safe, fair and competitive tournament when you attend Saturday, August 21, 2010. Check: www.neveskarateacademy.com for the latest information.

 

This outdoor martial arts tournament has many new and never before seen divisions. We’re having a Gi and No-Gi Grappling portion with several weight classes, similar to what you watch on Pride, UFC, etc. My cousin , Manny Neves who owns the Elite Martial Arts School in Pawtucket, RI and who, himself has an outstanding MMA/Muay Thai record will co-ordinate the grappling portion. For those of you who practice Olympic Style Tae Kwon Do sparring, there’s a category for the various ages who will compete in this illustrious Olympic Sport. Our tournament, with all the standard competitive divisions, is a Gold rated MASMAL sanctioned event and will be co-ordinated by undefeated world point fighting champion and MASMAL region 3 Vice-President and Co-Owner, Anthony “Mafia” Holloway. That website is: www.masmalonline.com. It’ll provide the rules and all pertinent information for the Open tournament and Grappling Divisions.

 

I, along with Darin Yee and Len Testa have put together a format for three Uechi-ryu Karate Championship tournaments. At this tournament, Shingaki The Great Outdoor Battle we’ll be hosting the 2nd Uechiryu Karate Championship Series tournament in the Series. Start time for the Uechi-ryu events will be 12 noon. Keep up-to-date information on the Series by checking out www.uechiryukaratechampionshipseries.info .

 

When I say we’ll be having “never before seen divisions” I mean just that. Specifically, we’ve created what I’m calling a “Theme” division. Let me explain what the concept of this division is. In order to engage the theater of martial arts, which is what a large part of martial arts is, my thought is to have a theme, which will vary as the tournament is held each year. This year, we’ve selected “Feudal Japan” as the “theme”. This division requires the contestant to, in approximately 3 minutes time, to excite, energize and illuminate the judges with their vast knowledge of the given theme. It will require the contestants to study the eras clothing, mannerisms, martial arts, attitude, etc. and convey that to the larger audience, not just the judges. The judges will select the finalists based on very specific parameters. Check with the promoters as to the specifics. This ought to be fun and enlightening at the same time. I wouldn’t think you’d want to miss this first.

 

So mark the date and time on your calendar, Saturday, August 21, 2010. Start time 8:00am. If it’s inclement weather it’ll be held the following weekend, Saturday, August 28, 2010. The location is 100 North Main Street, North Carver, MA. If you have any questions, please call me at (508) 367-9458. Again, stay posted on our website: www.neveskarateacademy.com .

 

Yours, in the Martial Arts, Manny Neves

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/shingaki-the-great-outdoor-battle-this-aint-no-summer-camp/

May 08 2010

Nothings better than this!

There is nothing as exciting as catching a near record breaking Dolphin on a spinning reel with 20 pound test line.After nearly an hour fight, Roy Bedard landing this beauty.

I caught four good sized Amber-jacks. Manny Ayala caught this beautiful Sailfish after a 30 minute fight, also on 20 pound test line.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/nothings-better-than-this/

May 03 2010

Business and Martial arts

 

Okinawan karate schools in Argentina are working together to organize the 2010 World Okinawan karate.
could you please put on the  page uechi-ryu.com and the announcement of the tournament

Thanks

best

先生シリザカルロス

Sensei Carlos Ciriza  7* Dan
Uechi Ryu Kenyukai Argentina

 


 

I don’t usually get many e-mail that are worth reading. I look forward to getting them from friends . . . especially when they write to tell me how much they enjoy reading my new book! :)

One of the very few business newsletters I bother to read comes from an old friend Terry Bryan. He is a very successful real estate investor and dojo owner. Reading his words of wisdom is often like looking at the business world through your martial art experiences.  I highly recommend subscribing to his newsletter if this business style makes sense to you.

Here is today’s offering. . .


Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/business-and-martial-arts/

Apr 29 2010

Regional workout

Although we managed to keep the Date and time the same, due to reasons beyond our control we are forced to change the venue for this Sunday’s Regional workout.

The location of the new venue is…

Amvets post 79

Prime Parkway

Natick MA

01760

9:00 to 11:00am

Directions.

Mass Pike to exit 13 Framingham / Natick…

Stay left on Rt. 30 East toward Natick…

Follow Rt. 30 East for 7/10ths of a mile to Speen St.

Take a Right onto Speen St.

Continue on Speen St. in the left lane for .5 of a mile until you reach

Superior Dr. on the left.

Take a left onto Superior Dr. for .1 of a mile.

At the light, go straight across onto Prime Parkway.

Follow the “KARATE” signs to venue.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause!!!

Thank you.

Fedele Cacia

Andrew Moores

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/regional-workout/

Apr 22 2010

Uechi-ryu Karate Tournament

UKCS Tournament #1 will be held this Sunday, April 25 at the JunglePlex, 8 Natalie Way in Plymouth.

Take exit 5 off of Route 3. Go through set of lights, Natalie way is on your right after lights.

We will be having a referee and scorekeeper meeting at 8:30 AM.

Please bring a white gi to wear as judges and referees.

We hope to see you there!

Len Testa
Darin Yee

Manny Neves


A note from Darin Yee:

Hello Everyone,
I want to thank everyone for their support of our tournament series.  Concerning Uechi-Ryu practitioners are the backbone of a strong community and the strength of a great system.  

Diversification is not our detriment but our strength.  Look at our Great Country The United States of America.  Our diversifications give us options and a better understanding of everything we do.  If we were forced to walk on a single path, we would not grow as an art.  We would simply walk the footsteps of whomever is in front.

The key is respect.  Respect those who are different because we know not what they do and for whatever their reasons.  If we do not agree, we are free to choose our paths.  After 51 years if continuous martial arts training, the most important single thing I’ve learned is to respect those who walks another, parallel path.  We will all arrive regardless of our means.

Strength, Honor and Respect,
Darin Yee

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-karate-tournament/

Apr 15 2010

Test Administrator for IUKF

IUKF has appointed Shihan Darin Yee as the International Test Administrator for this organization.

Darin’s job as administrator for promotions, makes sure that dan test applications get submitted on time and that the candidates meet all the requirements of IUKF that are listed in the Black Belt Test Guide and further clarified in the IUKF website.

All black belt promotions over 5th (godan) degree must be approved by the Master’s commiitte, consisting of all IUKF Hanshi and these ranks are awarded at annual SummerFests.

Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi are also awarded at SummerFest, but are processed through the Titles Committee, headed up by Joan Neidi with the capable assistance of Bill Glasheen and Bruce Witherall.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/test-administrator-for-iukf/

Apr 08 2010

Uechi-ryu Regional Workout

Uechi-ryu Regional Workout

Both Sensei Fedele Cacia’s and my dojo will be hosting a regional workout on May 2nd from 9-11 aM at the Natick High School in Natick, MA.  Last year’s workout was such a huge success with over 85 students/teachers from all associations in attendance. We are very excited to carry on this New England Uechi “tradition.”  We both feel strongly that an event of this nature is much needed within our beloved Uechi family.  We are both hoping for all groups and associations to participate in this great work out!

I did some digging on Sensei Mattson’s site and found this great message that Sensei Tracy Rose had written about his regional workout hosted back in ’99.  His message very eloquently sums up what Fedele sensei and I are trying to accomplish with our regional workout.

 



Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechiryu-regional-workout/

Page 19 of 62« First...10...1718192021...304050...Last »